Smoking Lamp Is Lit! Or Could Smoking Be Good For You?

A disclaimer, I am a life long non smoker.

You would have to have been living under a rock most of your life to not know that the Placebo Effect is. I will give a quick refresher in any case:

“Some research on the placebo effect has focused on the relationship of mind and body. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it’s possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused. For instance, in one study, people were given a placebo and told it was a stimulant. After taking the pill, their pulse rate sped up, their blood pressure increased, and their reaction speeds improved. When people were given the same pill and told it was to help them get to sleep, they experienced the opposite effects.”  Read here:

It is what the people believed the placebo was intended to do that invoked the response they experienced. My question to you is if the placebo effect can have positive results why can it not have negative consequences as well? For example if you contentiously light up and smoke believe it to be bad for you, can you not expect a certain number of people to get sick because of that belief?

This video also bring up a point that I have been making for years, and that is all the radiation put into the atmosphere at the end of WWII.  I remember as a child in the 50s (after we got a TV) watching a talking head show where the discussion was on the risks verse the benefits of testing Nuclear Bomb above ground. Having a strong capable National Defense was the main benefit.  The main risk was an increase in the incidents of lung cancer among the population in the years to come.  The consequences of the Nuclear Testing  in my opinion has been folded into a tobacco problem.

The below true story explain why I believe so many people attack smoking on health reasons. The just do not want to admit that they just do not like it, and it is a filthy [in their opinion] habit that they do not want to be around people who do it [smoke]. If they admit to their true motives they would have to being selfish, and not caring about your well being at all, just as I did not care in the story below.

This is one of my jail time tales. After I got out of the Marines I meandered around doing this and that in different part of the world, and after a while landed up in South Florida. Becoming a Hippy opened my eyes to a side of law enforcement officers that I had never expected to see. I was arrested for wondering around with no particular destination in mind, for not wearing a shirt in public, being out too late, going into a store barefoot, and a lot more which will not come to mind after all these years.

I was told time and time again by the cops that they knew that I would beat the rap, but would not beat the ride. From time to time they would put me and the other hippies that they had rounded up in the back of a paddy wagon, drive into a large mall parking lot, and have great fun making fast stops, sudden take offs with sharp turns, left and then right over and over again. That was the ride we would not beat.

After spending some time in lockup we would be brought in front of a judge, most of the times the charges would be dismissed for insufficient evidence, or a failure to appear buy the cops who made the arrest. But occasionally I would be found guilty and fined $10 or ten days. Seldom having $10 on me at that time I would, by necessity, do the 10 days in the county lock up. Which bring me to the story I want to tell.

On one of my 10 day sojourn I was locked into a two man cell with a chain smoker. Now this cell was about 9 foot by 6 foot as I recall it with a flush toilet (much better than a honeypot) on the wall away from the door. The double bunk bed took up most of the room with a little room between the bed and the wall, and a little more from the foot of the bed to the bared door. We spent the whole day within this cell, they even fed us there. It was not bread and water, but it was not much better.

No radio or TV, just conversation to occupy our time between meals and sleeping. We either sat on the edge of the bottom bunk, and as I recall was my bed because I had been out in the cell first and claimed it, standing or walking around in the little bit of room allowed. Now when I say a chain smoker I mean one of these smokers who starts his next cigarette with the one that he just finished from the times he wakes up until he turns in for the night, and even than would wake up and have another smoke before the morning.

My cellmate was of a goodly size and many years older, and it would have been iffy if I tried to forcible make him not smoke so much. See, then, as now I was a non-tobacco user, not for health reason, but just because I do not care for it. Still I want him to not put so much smoke in out small living space. So to this end I asked him, “Don’t you know that smoking like you do is going to kill you?”

This was his response to me:

“Let me tell you a story” he said. “a few years back I was working under a simi-truck which I had jacked up in front with two bumper jacks to give me room to work to work on the transmission. Well son, one of the jacks started to slip when a big wind came up, and when it started to go the other jack went with it bringing the truck’s transmission hard down on my chest.”

He pause at this point to light another cigarette, put the old one out, and went on. “There twern’t nobody around to a hear me scream ifing I could have screamed! I lay under that truck for over two days until my wife came home and found me. It was another half a day afore she was able to find the help to get the truck off of me.”

There was a real long pause after he said this, after starting another cigarette, he held it up in front of me and said, “If that did not kill me this is sure as hell not!” I did not bring up his smoking again, and luckily for my comfort he was taking to court is a shortly thereafter and I never say him again.

While I have never seen this man again, and he is most likely long dead, the conversation I just related has visited me time and again. He forced me to see something in myself that I see in lots of other people’s action as well. I did not give a shit about his health when I tried to use it to get his to stop smoking. It was my on comfort I was interested in. Just how much of this anti smoking campaign has an element of that in it?


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. go!!

    Smoking Lamp Is Lit! Or Could Smoking Be Good For You? | TheCarolinaCowboy

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